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Archive Discoveries

  • Communicating the most exciting new developments in science to non-scientific readers can be a challenge. But Know This: Today’s most interesting and important scientific ideas, discoveries, and developments, takes up the challenge and lets dozens of eminent scientists tell us what they think are the most interesting recent developments in science. Here are two extracts from the book. Read on >
  • For many of the families of servicemen killed in World War I, a terse telegram from the government was never going to be enough to assuage their grief. Families wrote back in their thousands, seeking more information about the fate of their loved ones. It was the task of James M Lean to reply to these families and, as author CAROL ROSENHAIN outlines in The Man Who Carried the Nation’s Grief, he did so with extraordinary empathy and sensitivity. Read on >
  • Australian film director BRUCE BERESFORD (Driving Miss Daisy, Paradise Road) and film producer SUE MILLIKEN (Black Robe and Sirens) have collaborated on several films over their long careers. Their new book, There’s a Fax from Bruce: Edited correspondence between Bruce Beresford & Sue Milliken 1989- 1996, collects the communications – full of industry gossip, news and thoughts on books and films – from a pre-email era between these two filmmaking luminaries. They tell us here about the books that have influenced them. Read on >
  • Ed Yong – science reporter for The Atlantic and blogger for National Geographic – has just published his first book, I Contain Multitudes: The microbes within us and a grander view of life. We asked him to tell us about his reading life.   What are you
reading now?
 Patient H.M. by 
Luke Dittrich, because 
my editor for my own 
book sent me a galley
 copy! I’m glad she
 did. Henry Molaison 
was arguably the most
influential patient in
all of neuroscience.
 After an operation to
cure his epilepsy, he lost the ability to form new memories – think Memento – and so taught us much about how our memories work. Dittrich is the grandson of the surgeon who operated on Molaison, and he brings a deeply personal flavor to the incisive reporting and colourful writing that characterise this book. What are your three favourite books?
 The Song of the Dodo: Island biogeography in the age of extinctions by David Quammen is natural history writing at its finest – a witty, insightful tour of the planet’s islands and what they tell us about our increasingly fragmented world. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell offers genre-hopping stories but delivers a deep fable about hope and nihilism; I stared silently out a window for the longest time when I finished 
it. Being Wrong: Adventures in the margin of error by Kathryn Schulz is a wondrous study of human error that blends literature, science and philosophy. Read on >
  • Kit, only 19 years old, works for Shen Corporation
as a phenomenaut – a person who projects their consciousness into the bodies of animals bred for research purposes. This is the strange and intriguing premise of The Many Selves of Katherine North. ANGUS DALTON puts some questions to EMMA GEEN, author of this new novel. Read on >
  • After reading a few thrillers lately I got to thinking about writers in the crime and thriller genres and the research they need to do to make their books seem real. Research can be an exciting part of writing any book. Determining how a killer might think and how their victim could become entrapped is one thing, but I can’t imagine looking at dead people or reading detailed reports of the methods that serial killers use to stalk and murder their prey.That’s the sort of awful stuff police deal with and psychologically struggle with for the rest of their lives. But could even researching this sort of thing affect a writer?  Read on >
  • Writer MIKE LUCAS and illustrator JENNIFER HARRISON tell gr about Olivia’s Voice, a new picture book about a deaf girl. Read on >
  • When she’s not training her inquisitorial blowtorch on politicians and other people who have questions to answer, ABC reporter and presenter SARAH FERGUSON loves to delve into a book. Her new book, The Killing Season Uncut, recounts the behind-the-scenes tales of the television program about the tumultuous Rudd–Gillard years. We asked the multi-award winning Four Corners reporter to tell us about the books that have influenced her. Read on >
  • In the early 1900s, the luminescent properties of radium – a highly radioactive metal – had just been discovered, and entrepreneurs were quick to identify its marketing potential. They flooded supermarket shelves with radium-based products, and thousands of young women in North America were hired to paint clock dials with radium. The girls would go home with their hands aglow, oblivious to the bone-destroying radiation they had been exposed to. We spoke with London-based author KATE MOORE about these workers’ stories, which appear in her new book, The Radium Girls. Read on >
  • Perth crime writer David Whish-Wilson reveals how the history of organised crime in WA and his many encounters with criminals, from teaching writing to inmates to meeting biker gangs, has influenced his novels.  Read on >
  • The town of Sorrento in southern Italy sits high on a clff above the Tyrrhenian Sea, whose waters are sobuoyant and warm that you can doze off while floating on its surface. But as author KATE FURNIVALL found, the nearby city of Naples is steeped in a history of danger and wartime poverty. The UK author tells gr her latest novel, The Liberation, was inspired by the secret tunnels, mafia strongholds and the of child street gangs she encountered on a recent visit to the Bay of Naples. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • This debut novel won the 2017 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers and is a brilliant read. Alex and Amy’s real journey is about finding each other. Families can inflict pain and damage but the ties that bind run deep. While the novel deals with grief and trauma, it is also humorous and perceptive. I found Alex and Amy’s story compelling and I couldn’t stop thinking about them after I finished. Read on >

  • Glimpses of Utopia is arresting from the very first sentence: ‘What if the future we need is vastly different to the future we’ve been told we want?’ It’s the first of many questions Jess poses that challenge the prevailing systems that govern every aspect of our lives. It’s an optimistic, evidence-based vision for the future that reads more like a real-world drama where we all write the ending. Read on >

  • This story felt real and I was completely captivated. Read on >

  • Be prepared. Before you open this book, take a deep breath … it might be a while before you come up for air.  Read on >

  • The 12 writers in this anthology have contributed fiction, poetry and non-fiction, imagining an alternative Australia after empire, colony, and white supremacy. The collection is bookended by pieces from Hannah Donnelly, a Wiradjuri writer interested in indigenous futures, and speculative fiction. She has also written two moving pieces in the collection cast as ‘interludes’ about miscegenation and brushes with the law. Read on >

  • The book shows that climate change isn’t one big thing, but a mass of small things building together slowly but surely against us. There are stories of heroism and hope that provide a silver lining to the book’s doom and gloom. Read on >

  • Anatolia is more than just a cookbook; it is also an education and travel book which is beautifully presented. I can’t wait to cook more of the recipes. Read on >

  • While the non-chronological order of the book sometimes makes the order of events confusing, The Awful Truth is a genuinely fascinating look at an age of news gone by. Read on >

  • Every now and again a book comes along that speaks to us as readers. Asking us to look at not just what we read or why we read, but how our reading influences the way we interact with the world around us. For readers and writers alike, this is a book to read and absorb and take solace that, despite the challenges and obstacles placed in front of our creatives, there are passionate advocates and practitioners whose work is to be celebrated for years to come. Read on >

  • This is a huge, powerful novel about the corrosiveness of keeping family secrets. Read on >

See all Book Reviews for this Issue

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